Board of Directors

 Treva Beard, President

Treva Beard is an information technology manager at the North Dakota Department of Transportation. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business administration, and a master’s in management degree, both from the University of Mary. Adept in technology, Treva is comfortable with many aspects of information technology, from large projects to records management.

An active community volunteer, Treva is past president of the Bismarck-Mandan Alumni Association, and is past president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals. She is thrilled to be involved on the Welcome House board of directors.   Treva, her husband, Bill, and two sons, Jakeb and Chase, enjoy family time on their ranch south of Menoken.  The family enjoys participating in and producing rodeo events.


 Gary Heaton, Vice President

Gary is committed to giving something back to the communities where he lives and works. He has been involved in a prison ministry as a volunteer at the North Dakota State penitentiary since 1997. Gary is a member of the Mandan Dacotah Lions and is a past officer of the Council of United Way Agencies. He also was a member of the team that wrote the 10 year plan to end long-term homelessness in Bismarck/.Mandan. In his spare time Gary enjoys traveling with his wife (mostly to visit family), golfing, reading, watching movies, biking and writing.

Gary and his wife Judy grew up in Minnesota but have lived in North Dakota since 1997.They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Gary received his Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque Iowa, and has completed an additional 1200 hours of clinical pastoral education. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America currently serving as a full time chaplain at Sanford Health in Bismarck. From 2000-2008 Gary was called as the pastor/ developer at Living Water Lutheran Church in Mandan. He served as Executive Director for AID Inc from 2004-2008.


Kenda Johnson Kenda Crane, Secretary

Kenda Johnson is a resident of Bismarck and currently teaches third grade at Standing Rock Elementary in Fort Yates.   She has been teaching for 13 years.  Kenda is a graduate of Trinity Bible College.  She has great involvement in education and is a mentor for the North Dakota Teacher Support System.  
Kenda enjoys spending time with her daughter Chloe.   She is actively involved in barrel racing as well as having her own barrel racing association.


Joey Nelson, Treasurer


Thomas Ault

Tom Ault owns, operates and manages Point CPA, a public accounting firm based in Bismarck with clients across the Upper Midwest and southwestern United States. He specializes in income tax, management advice, and information system services for small and mid-sized businesses, and individuals. Many of Tom’s clients have a long-term relationship with him and value the personal interest and operational improvement advice that he provides.

A graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck, Tom was previously a partner in the firm of Storhaug Ault CPAs.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the North Dakota Society of CPAs.   Tom has served on the board of Welcome House for four years as the organization’s treasurer, and now as president.


 Darla Stafford

Darla Stafford is a LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker). She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Minot and Master of Social Work from the University of Denver in Colorado.  She has practiced for many years and is employed at Sanford Health Bismarck in the outpatient mental health clinic.  She and her husband Mitch have made their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.


Deb Hieb

Babete Anderson



Kelly Gunsch Kelly Gunsch, Executive Director

Kelly Gunsch is honored to join the Welcome House as its new Executive Director.  She is a native of the Bismarck area has a bachelor’s degree in Social Behavioral Science from the University of Mary.  Kelly has extensive experience in the non-profit sector – coordinating volunteers, generating funding and developing relationships with both supporters and clients.

An active community volunteer, she is Vice President of the Bismarck Optimist Club and serves on the Board for the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Kelly is grateful for her husband, Jesse, and their son, Dominic; as a family, they enjoy hiking, swimming and traveling and sailing at Lake Sakakawea.  She is excited to combine her love for family and experience in helping to others with the mission and critical services provided by Welcome House.


 Allett Lykins, Case Manager

Allett Lykins is happy to be a part of Welcome House.  She has a bachelor's degree in Social Work from Minot State University and is a LSW in the state of North Dakota. Allett has a background working with children in in-home care, as well as counseling and case managing youth in a residential setting. She enjoys helping clients learn the skills needed to reach their goals.

Allett and her husband, Mike, along with their young daughter enjoy being outside, doing sports and playing with their lovable springer spaniel.  She is eager to collaborate with staff and volunteers to help further Welcome House?s mission and meet the needs of families in our community.